In summary

Highlighting all of CALmatters’ work over the past week

Recent Articles

State eyes how to counteract end of Obamacare mandate‚ or risk a million more Californians without health insurance

By Elizabeth Aguilera

California could create its own mandate or subsidies—or both—to keep up to a million people from going without health insurance, now that the Trump administration has canceled the penalty for people who forego coverage.

New California School Dashboard paints a colorful picture—in which one in three school districts needs help

By Ricardo Cano

Fewer than half of California’s schools got a passing grade in English on California’s School Dashboard, and only about a third passed in math. The state’s colorful new assessment tool, in its second year, expands beyond test scores to include graduation rates, absenteeism, college readiness and other measures, but the big picture remains grim.

Jerry Brown’s last stand on pension reform

By Judy Lin

The California Supreme Court is weighing a key legal precedent that could restore the generous pension formulas Jerry Brown worked so hard to tighten.

Let it flow: In about-face, state breaks and shifts levees to restore natural floodplains

By Alastair Bland

California’s new emphasis on reconnecting floodplains to rivers—enabling them to absorb floodwaters—marks a U-turn from the state’s past reliance on levees to protect cities and towns.

A gentler, still incredibly controversial housing bill is back—with a powerful new ally

By Matt Levin

California lawmakers will reconsider a controversial idea to keep cities from blocking new apartment buildings near transit. Changes make it more palatable to organized labor, and the mayor of Los Angeles.

On Day One, hints of California’s Democratic agenda to come

By Laurel Rosenhall

California’s new Legislature hinted at its coming agenda with first-day bills on issues from housing to wildfire.

A deep blue sea of California lawmakers takes oath of office

By Laurel Rosenhall

A new Legislature was sworn in at the Capitol on Monday, with a Democratic mega-majority in both chambers. But within that huge margin is historic diversity.

Your county’s favorite? Where state props succeeded and failed across California

By Ben Christopher

These maps illustrate how California counties split over the midterm ballot propositions.

CALQuiz: A Harris aide resigns, a housing bill returns, and the state works to stop floods

By Trevor Eischen


My turn: How Newsom could create a new golden era for higher education

By Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine

My turn: Newsom must prepare for the worst. Here’s a roadmap

By Michael Mantell

The historical record no longer brackets what we can expect in intensity or duration from drought, flood, or wildfire. So we cannot move quickly enough to cut emissions from our millions of tailpipes in California, and we must change state governance, funding, and planning as necessary—no matter how difficult—to get ready for the worst.

New water deal isn’t a political certainty

By Dan Walters

Gov. Jerry Brown, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy have a deal on water in the San Joaquin Valley but its future is not certain.

My turn: We must build strong children

By Kim Belshé

A child’s earliest months and years are critical to her or his life trajectory. We know that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops before age 5. That’s why it’s so important to invest early in our children. First 5 L.A. and First 5 organizations across the state are eager to support our governor-elect in his efforts to build strong children. Like Gavin Newsom, we know we can and should do more to build strong children today.

Legislature, Newsom have an ambitious agenda

By Dan Walters

The California Legislature reconvenes with stronger Democratic majorities that its leaders and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom hope to use for an expansionist agenda, leading off with a comprehensive array of early childhood education services.

My turn: We shouldn’t have to pay for gas company’s lobbying

By Matt Vespa

Southern California Gas Co.’s business model depends on selling natural gas. So while many California utilities have begun to plan for the state’s clean energy future, SoCalGas uses ratepayer money to help pay for its lobbying to undermine that future.

My turn: California must keep its promise to our public servants

By Marcie Frost

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is building for the future and staying true to its mission of providing retirement security to public sector workers while respecting the taxpayers who benefit from their dedicated service. My hope is that everyone’s grandparents who depend on us will be able to retire in dignity.

Newsom will inherit troubled bullet train project

By Dan Walters

When Jerry Brown departs the governorship, he will leave behind a barely started, financially and managerially challenged bullet train project. Getting on track or abandoning it will fall to successor Gavin Newsom.

Democrats won big in CA but face big challenges nationally

By Ellen O. Tausche and Tom Epstein

Ellen O. Tauscer: Democrats flipped seven congressional seats by organizing and talking directly to voters about issues that mattered most to them.
Tom Epstein: Democrats cannot abandon the rest of the country. To win, they must directly engage with rural voters and focus on issues that concern them.

Where do middle-of-the-road voters go now?

By Dan Walters

California’s two major parties are becoming more polarized, leaving middle-of-the-road Californians without representation. Two new organizations, however, are trying to change that.

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